Modeling a N&W class M1 RPO

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Dec 28 12:45:09 EST 2010

Sent: Mon, December 27, 2010 2:41:27 AM
Subject: ... modelling a M1 RPO facsimile

... I'd like to also build up a Pocahontas consist, and
have been searching out available cars for that. And thus have several questions ...?

For one, I checked out Bethlehem Car Works B&O H11 RPO kit, and after comparing to photos online and in Wiley and Wallace's Norfolk and Western?handbook, I'm thinking a facsimile could be modeled if one replaces the clerestory roof with an arch roof, uses appropriate 4-wheel trucks, and the same roof vents from their BEk baggage-express car. And of course, do not use the fishbelly under-frame parts. What do you all think??

Also, could a PRR B60 baggage car be realistically be included in either N&W consist? I recall reading once B60s ventured out of PRR territory during their years of service?

Thank you in advance
Alvie Hearren

December 28, 2010

Hello, Alvie:

Joe Bernard suggested that one could start with an Arnold 64-feet exterior-length RPO and kit bash it for an N&W Class M1 Bethlehem RPO. Although it may have the approximate prototype appearance, the most obvious fault is that it will have five windows on each side instead of six. Chief modifications needed are smoothing of sides, rounding the roof ends, and adding vents.

You may be able to include a PRR storage mail car in a Pocahotas consist, but it would not be the norm. Storage mail cars on the Pocahontas ran to Cincinnati, so the usual equipment would be supplied by the N&W. There were occasionally extra movements of storage mail cars, espectiallly during the November-December period. In those cases, cars may be loaded at Chicago and interchanged at Cincinnati or Columbus. PRR storage mail cars were sometines on Trains 1 and 2 between Roanoke and Hagerstown, as well as the SOU-N&W trains between Washington and Knoxville (via Lynchburg-Bristol), but those trains are outside your modeling scope.

Good luck,


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